As the 2022 Australian Federal Election looms, Children’s Ground is calling on the incoming government to listen to First Nations people and act. Too often, government policy is top-down and determined by non-First Nations people who are disconnected from our culture, history, aspirations and struggles. Too often, government policy has failed smaller communities with little political weight including Homelands, remote communities and town camp communities.

We established Children’s Ground as a solution and it is working, but we need government to partner with us and to show a real commitment to the future of our children.

We have the right to live on our Country and to have access to quality health and education. This should not be too much to ask. We call for our basic human rights to be recognised and supported.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 25: Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services.

Senior Arrernte Educator and Traditional Owner for Mparntwe (Alice Springs) Felicity Hayes says,

“We want to access basic human rights on our Country, in the place we have always lived. We want to have a safe place for our children to grow up where they can access culturally appropriate education and have the opportunities that all Australians have. We want mainstream Australia to recognise us as First Nations people, to respect our culture and language, and walk alongside us so we can heal as a nation, together.”

As we all consider how to use our vote this Federal Election, Children’s Ground has three key messages for any incoming government:

  1. We all deserve access to preventative and primary health care, no matter where we live
  2. Our children deserve access to high quality, culturally safe education, no matter where we live
  3. We all deserve the right to practice our culture, speak our languages and express our identity

Our connection to country is the most important thing to us.

At Children’s Ground, we prove that children connected to their land have a deep sense of wellbeing. We can have the best education and this is what we want to achieve. We have never had the chance to do this before – to establish learning, health and wellbeing our way. Our children are engaged in early years learning for the first time. They are learning and happy and they are holding onto their culture, language and identity.

At Children’s Ground, we are providing nutrition, social and emotional wellbeing and health promotion in First Languages in our communities. Children and families are learning about health and taking more control over their own health. We are focussed on early intervention and prevention of lifelong disease. In our early progress evaluation of Children’s Ground in Central Australia, 89% of families reported that children’s physical and emotional health improved through engagement with Children’s Ground’s health and wellbeing.

We all deserve the right to practice our culture, speak our languages and express our identity. Most services are from a Western design; at Children’s Ground, we put our culture and language at the heart of what we do.

Children’s Ground is First Nations-led in approach, design and delivery. Led by our Elders, we are creating access to essential services in a culturally responsive way. We are honouring culture, teaching in language, creating employment for our people and improving our health. We are celebrating our strength and ability and building a new reality for our next generation. This is about our children and their future.

Do you believe in access to education, health care and cultural safety for all? Use your vote this Federal Election to let our incoming government know where you stand.

Share our tiles on social media and support our vital work in First Nations-led health, education and cultural governance: childrensground.org.au/campaigns/donate